Australia avoids US-style debt shutdown
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Thursday avoided a US-style shutdown after the government struck a deal with the Greens to abolish the nation's debt ceiling.
The current cap of A$300 billion (S$339 billion) was due to be hit next week, with Treasurer Joe Hockey warning of massive cuts to government expenditure if a resolution was not found.
A bill to raise the limit passed the House of Representatives last month, but there has been a stand-off in the Senate.
Labor and the Greens hold the balance of power in the upper house and wanted to cap the debt ceiling at A$400 billion, but the Tony Abbott-led government said that was not enough, and pushed for Aus$500 million.